Gum Wall: Rainbow Found Art
The Gum Wall
Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
We checked out the gum wall in Seattle. Gum isn’t exactly food but we chew so much of it, it might as well be. Found in an alleyway under Pike Place Place Market beside the theatre, the gum wall was an initial result of theatre goers in 1993 passing time by sticking their gum on the brick wall along with coins as they waited in line. Theatre staff attempted to scrape the gum off but it soon became too much work, and the gum wall has now grown into a colourful, weird and quirky tourist attraction. We weren’t the only ones there taking pictures.
The gum wall is a pretty spectacular sight, a rainbow coloured wall made up of dried and mushed up gum. The wall is 15 feet high and 50 feet long and growing. There were different patterns, designs and even initials fashioned totally out of gum all over the wall. It was like 3D graffiti, the bright colours giving the dark alley a splash of playfulness.
I love strange and unique found art like the pad locks on lovers bridge in Paris. There’s no better way to leave your mark somewhere than by fastening a totally ordinary object in a random place.
Seattle’s gum wall is not the only one in the world, there’s also a bubblegum alley in California. Seattle’s gum wall claim to fame aside from its cool absurdity is also that it’s one of the top 5 germiest attractions in the world right up there next to the Blarney Stone. For this reason, my boyfriend refused to touch the wall even though both of us were chomping on pieces of gum just for this reason as we walked the length of the wall. I’ll admit that I was a little squeamish about touching the wall too so I ended up carefully sticking my piece of mint gum on a nearly empty portion of the wall. It’s not touching any of the other pieces of gum. But who wants to be clumped in with everyone else right?